Researchers have shown that certain superconductors – materials that carry electrical current with zero resistance at very low temperatures – can also carry currents of ‘spin’. The successful combination of superconductivity and spin could lead to a revolution in high-performance computing, by dramatically reducing energy consumption.
Spin is a particle’s intrinsic angular momentum, and is normally carried in non-superconducting, non-magnetic materials by individual electrons. Spin can be ‘up’ or ‘down’, and for any given material, there is a maximum length that spin can be carried. In a conventional superconductor electrons with opposite spins are paired together so that a flow of electrons carries zero spin.
A few years ago, researchers from the University of Cambridge showed that it was possible to create electron pairs in which the spins are aligned: up-up or down-down. The spin current can be carried by up-up and down-down pairs moving in opposite directions with a net charge current of zero. The ability to create such a pure spin supercurrent is an important step towards the team’s vision of creating a superconducting computing technology which could use massively less energy than the present silicon-based electronics.
Now, the same researchers have found a set of materials which encourage the pairing of spin-aligned electrons, so that a spin current flows more effectively in the superconducting state than in the non-superconducting (normal) state. Their results are reported in the journal Nature Materials.
“Although some aspects of normal state spin electronics, or spintronics, are more efficient than standard semiconductor electronics, their large-scale application has been prevented because the large charge currents required to generate spin currents waste too much energy,” said Professor Mark Blamire of Cambridge’s Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, who led the research. “A fully-superconducting method of generating and controlling spin currents offers a way to improve on this.”
In the current work, Blamire and his collaborators used a multi-layered stack of metal films in which each layer was only a few nanometres thick. They observed that when a microwave field was applied to the films, it caused the central magnetic layer to emit a spin current into the superconductor next to it.
“If we used only a superconductor, the spin current is blocked once the system is cooled below the temperature when it becomes a superconductor,” said Blamire. “The surprising result was that when we added a platinum layer to the superconductor, the spin current in the superconducting state was greater than in the normal state.”
Although the researchers have shown that certain superconductors can carry spin currents, so far these only occur over short distances. The next step for the research team is to understand how to increase the distance and how to control the spin currents.
The Latest on: High-performance computing
via Google News
The Latest on: High-performance computing
- Nissan Moves to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for High-Performance Computingon August 11, 2020 at 5:00 am
Oracle announced today that Nissan Motor Co., Ltd is migrating its on-premises, high-performance computing (HPC) workloads to Oracle ...
- Nissan to move high-performance computing workloads to Oracle Cloudon August 11, 2020 at 5:00 am
Nissan is one of the first automotive OEMs to leverage Oracle’s bare-metal GPU-accelerated hardware for HPC workloads.
- High performance computing — at condo priceson August 10, 2020 at 9:13 am
San Diego Supercomputer Center makes high performance computing resources available to researchers via a “condo cluster” model. Many homebuyers have found ...
- NSF Grant Supports Texas A&M’s Acquisition Of High Performance Computing Platformon August 7, 2020 at 11:03 pm
New funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will allow Texas A&M University to acquire a next-generation composable high ...
- High-performance computing from anywhereon August 7, 2020 at 1:35 pm
GPU-accelerated virtual workstations allow scientists to continue working with massive datasets from almost anywhere.
- Cloud high-performance computing could help the US build the best weather predictoron August 6, 2020 at 4:51 pm
Predicting weather emergencies is one area where high-performance computing can literally be a life saver. Collecting and processing massive amounts of data from disparate sources requires an allied ...
- Frances Allen, first woman to win Turing Award for contributions to computing, dies at 88on August 6, 2020 at 4:32 pm
Frances Allen, a former high school math teacher who became one of the leading computer scientists of her generation and, in 2006, was the first woman to win the A.M. Turing Award, considered the ...
- High-Performance Computing as a Service Market is Expected to Reach $17.00 Billion by 2026, Says Allied Market Researchon August 6, 2020 at 6:43 am
According to the report published by Allied Market Research, the global high-performance computing as a service market ...
- Rigetti raises $79M Series C for its quantum computing platformon August 4, 2020 at 9:18 am
Rigetti Computing, the quantum computing startup that is challenging industry heavyweights like IBM, Microsoft and D-Wave, today announced that it has closed a $79 million Series C funding round. The ...
via Bing News